Illinois Tech Secures Space at Fulton Labs to Expand Research Footprint


Illinois Tech Grows Research Footprint, Securing Prime Space at Fulton Labs

Illinois Institute of Technology has leased approximately 34,295 square feet in Trammell Crow Company’s Fulton Labs innovation hub. TCC, a global real estate developer, announced the partnership Friday, November 3.

Illinois Tech will occupy the entire seventh floor of the cutting-edge wet lab facilities at 400 North Aberdeen Street in Chicago. The university aims to fuel scientific breakthroughs and industry-relevant research as the first academic institution to join the thriving and collaborative innovation ecosystem alongside their Fulton Labs neighbors, which includes Portal Innovations and the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub. This location will mark the university’s first off-campus move to a commercial research hub, which it will occupy in Fulton Market by late summer 2024. 

“As Chicago’s only technology-focused university, Illinois Tech is uniquely positioned to advance cutting-edge innovations, offering a distinctive education and unique research program focused on using science, technology, and design thinking to address global challenges,” says Illinois Tech Provost Kenneth T. Christensen. “As the first academic institution to be part of this hub of innovation at Fulton Labs, we’re not only setting the pace, but also fortifying a diverse and thriving innovation ecosystem.”

Illinois Tech will utilize Fulton Labs to expand its research and development presence and to drive innovation. Researchers will focus on biomedical and biological engineering, including sensors, separation science, and electrochemical energy materials, along with more biology-focused research such as therapeutics development. These advanced research facilities, along with opportunities to collaborate with employers, offer Illinois Tech students exposure to industry-aligned research that is an integral part of the Elevate experiential learning experience that Illinois Tech offers students. At Fulton Labs, Illinois Tech will help grow a vibrant ecosystem, collaborating internally and with nearby partners.

“In the dynamic realm of scientific research, partnership and collaboration are more than mere concepts—they are the driving forces of groundbreaking discoveries that lead to impact for humanity,” says Christensen. “By championing an ecosystem that thrives on shared resources and mutual growth, we are laying the foundation for a future where innovation knows no bounds. Expanding our research footprint to Fulton Labs is the natural next step to advance synergistic scientific collaborations in an ever-evolving landscape.” 

“Illinois Tech growing its R&D and innovation presence at Fulton Labs further validates the promise of innovation and access to a wealth of science-forward talent in Chicago,” says Johnny Carlson of TCC. “The university will be able to catalyze innovation within the neighborhood, where many other prominent ecosystem drivers, such as Portal Innovations and the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub, have recently established a presence. Illinois Tech is the first academic institution to lean in off campus to create an innovation hub in the city. Being near like-minded companies and institutions will allow Illinois Tech to support student and faculty advancement, and enhance student networking and job opportunities.”

The Fulton Labs campus—totaling 725,000 square feet across two world-class buildings—is part of the firm’s 1.2-million-square-foot life science portfolio in Chicago, which also includes the under-construction Evanston Labs (175,000 square feet) and Hyde Park Labs (302,000 square feet), both slated for delivery in 2024.

“At its core, true impact is born from the fusion of innovation with collaboration. By establishing our presence at Fulton Labs, we’re embracing a philosophy that believes in pushing boundaries through collective endeavor,” says Christensen. “With this expansion, Illinois Tech is not just broadening its geographical reach but also amplifying its relevance in the ever-evolving world of technology and research. Our aspiration is clear: to shape a future with relevant and impactful research that resonates locally and globally.”